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Mask & Mirror announces new summer musical and search for permanent home

Don’t be surprised if you see Gary Romans dancing and singing in the wet weather this week.

He’s just harnessing his inner Gene Kelly.

Romans, the president of Mask & Mirror Community Theater, announced this week that Tigard and Tualatin’s local community theater would be stepping up its game in 2015 with a new play slated to open this month, a search beginning for a new permanent home, and a production of “Singin’ in the Rain” at Tualatin High School this summer.

Putting on a major Hollywood musical is a change for Mask & Mirror, which for the past four years has offered largely comedies.

The Broadway Rose Theatre Company, a professional theater group based in Tigard, has long held sway over Washington County’s musical reviews, offering several productions each year.

When Mask & Mirror started, Romans said that its productions would leave the musicals to the Broadway Rose, but Romans now says that since its opening, both audiences and members of the theater have clamored for the troupe to offer more musicals.

“It’s a great way to build membership in the organization,” Romans said. “People love them.”

Romans said he’d like Mask & Mirror to offer a musical every summer in Tualatin.

Mask & Mirror has about $20,000 in the bank, which it had been hoping to use to find a permanent home in Tigard or Tualatin, but Romans said that the opportunity to perform “Singin’ in the Rain” was too good to pass up.

“We haven’t really started a focused fundraising campaign for a permanent home because we haven’t found the real estate,” Romans said.

Finding a permanent home has been a goal of the theater since its inception. Romans said that after “Singin’ in the Rain” wraps up, the search for the troupe’s future home can begin.

“We will start in earnest trying to find a place this summer,” Romans said. “If all goes well, we could start our next season in the new place in September.”

The community theater’s production will include a large cast, a full orchestra and a children’s dance troupe, which will perform before the show and at intermission.

Profits from “Singin’ in the Rain” will be split between Mask & Mirror and the Foundation for Tigard Tualatin Schools, Romans said.

“The Foundation is a big supporter of the arts and fully embraces the impact it has on education. The arts are important and we need to keep them as robust as possible in our schools and in our community,” said Margie Green, executive director of the Foundation. “We appreciate Mask & Mirror bringing this classical musical to life in Tualatin.”

Ticket prices are still being worked out, but Romans said they will stay at or below $15, though audience members will be encouraged to “add a little extra for the theater and the schools.”

The community theater is open to anyone, from experienced actors to novices. Romans said that community productions like “Singin’ in the Rain” and “Dearly Beloved” are a great way to experience live theater.

“Our objective is to get as many people involved in the show as possible. It’s a community production,” Romans said. “The more people involved, the more energy you get for the community and the better it is.”

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